Re: Box/auto distribution 1938

Tim O'Connor

On the contrary, I think we know a great deal. We know what UP frt trains
looked like. From my conductor's book, we know what 34 trains looked like.


My point is, can anything useful be inferred from it about the overall
composition of freight trains on the UP mainline? I don't think so. But
as I said before, if you want to model THOSE trains, then it's exactly
what the doctor ordered.

You have a basic assumption that because you see a variety of consists,
you are seeing a cross-section of all the trains on the UP. But how do
you know that? Maybe the same train, different day, had an entirely
different composition because of the ebb and flo of traffic. Was this
conductor high seniority, or extra board? That could make a difference
in what trains he got. Did he get the fast freights, or slow rollers?

Even in my 34 trains, it is easy to see similar trains. For example,
reefer blocks, lumber trains, tank car trains [ both MTY & loaded from
Sinclair ], stock trains, coal trains and even merchandise trains. The
cars will be different but there were specific trains running almost daily...
Roseville Fruit for example.

Mike if you had a month's worth of Roseville Fruit trains, that would be
very interesting. As I said, a whole week's worth of one train (especially
a train like that) can tell you a great deal about THAT train! At least,
about that train in that season. Did you see many Bangor & Aroostook reefers
in your fruit trains? During the summer months BAR reefers were largely out
of work in Maine, but they could be found on the SP being loaded with
California produce. But you would not see that if your data sample was
taken at a different time of year. If you model UP year round, you would
need BAR reefers. But if you model only the fall-winter, you don't.

But the daily fluctuations are the goal...if one wants to model real trains.
Again, there were specific trains with specific tasks and, yes, sometimes
they were combined. If one wants to simply know what frt cars operated
between two between Laramie and Rawlins...over a long period,
you would need a large % of the conductor books for that period.

Well, Mike, it seems we are in agreement! :-)

Tim O'Connor

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